“People escaping violence or persecution must be able to cross borders safely. They must not face discrimination at borders or be unfairly denied refugee status or asylum due to their race, religion, gender, or country of origin.” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres
World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls on the 20th of June each year and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognise their resilience in rebuilding their lives.
Together, we can work to end the refugee crisis and find homes for displaced people worldwide.
Below are 10 shocking facts on the global refugee crisis:
The number of displaced people surpassed 100 million for the first time ever.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) revealed on May 23 that the number of people who have been forcibly displaced worldwide has reached a “staggering” milestone, with 100 million people now displaced globally for the first time on record.
If all forcibly displaced people formed their own country, it would be the 14th largest nation in the world.
With 100 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, that’s equivalent to the 14th most populated country in the world. Countries that have a similar-sized population include Egypt (102 million) and Vietnam (97 million).
Refugees wait an average of 20 years to be resettled and assimilated.
That’s 20 years of detachment and waiting for your new life to begin. Nobody becomes and remains a refugee because they want to, it’s an identity of survival, of abandoning your past life to avoid death.
85% of refugees are hosted in developing countries.
While wealthy countries have far more resources to host and assist refugees, the vast majority of refugees worldwide are taken in by developing countries. This is often the result of close proximity to crisis zones, meaning refugees end up in these countries after fleeing across the closest borders.
But the fact that these host countries don’t turn away refugees makes them exceptional compared to developed countries.
Turkey hosts the most refugees globally with 3.7 million, followed by Colombia, Uganda, Pakistan, and Germany.
The bulk of Turkey’s refugee population comes from Syria, which has suffered from more than a decade of civil war. Colombia’s refugees come largely from Venezuela, Uganda’s from South Sudan, Pakistan’s from Afghanistan, and Germany’s from Syria.
This UN data does not yet take into account the 3.4 million refugees being hosted in Poland.
South Africa is host to 266,700 refugees and asylum seekers.
Approximately 30 per cent are from Somalia, 29 per cent from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 20 per cent from Ethiopia, with the remainder mostly from Zimbabwe and the Republic of the Congo.
Half of the world’s refugees are children.
Nearly 13 million refugees are under the age of 18.
Nearly half of all refugee children remain out of school.
Refugee children are more likely to attend primary school, but attendance rates plummet when it comes to secondary school and beyond due to a lack of resources and social pressure to drop out.
The decade-long war in Syria has generated 5.7 million refugees.
Syrian refugees have fled the country and sought refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and beyond. An additional 6.7 million people have been displaced within Syria, and a total of 13.4 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.
Should you wish to get involved and donate to a worthy cause, then you can get in touch with the following NGO by clicking on the link below:
If you would like to read about refugees from an insiders perspective, then please click here:
Last updated stats done by the UN on the 27th of October 2022.